At Home: The Bed
For High-End Antique Buyer or Home Stager, Search the Delights of ‘The Eclectic Motif’
‘Mr. Color,’ Carleton Varney (1937-2022)
The Greening of Georgetown
Designs for Living: Fabiola Martens Shares Her Secrets
‘Design@+’: Unique Take on Present and Future of Design in D.C. and Beijing
Joseph Park • July 14, 2014
To celebrate of the 30th anniversary of the sister cities relationships between Washington, D.C., and Beijing, China, “Design@+” will run tomorrow through July 11, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., in the Powerhouse at 3255 Grace St., NW. The show, along with workshops, will present unique designs that resonate two distinctively different cultures.
“Design@+” — organized by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, State-Owned Cultural Assets Supervision and Administration Office of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality and other organizations — will feature 80 contemporary designs by D.C.-based and Beijing-based designers, covering a wide variety of designs including furniture design, product design, fashion design, graphic design and digital and interactive design.
The Design @+ Initiative — the initiative that this exhibition is built upon — is an attempt to build a platform for designers to share their ideas, concerns and opinions. It also serves to provide an educational experience for future generation of designers who are looking to stay up-to-date with the contemporary designs.
**Some of the highlights for the exhibit include:**
• Designers’ talk: Design Matters – Tuesday, July 8 (10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.): A dialogue session between designers and curators on the different practices, marketing and educational aspect of the design industry.
• Roundtable Discussion: City Level Dialogue—Tuesday, July 8 (1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.): A discussion between officials from the two cities, Washington, D.C., and Beijing, on how the two cities can help in carrying out effective cultural exchanges.
• Google Art Night Talk: What is the Role of Technology (such as 3D printing) in Industrial Designs? Wednesday, July 9 (7 p.m. to 9 p.m.): This conversation aims to focus emerging technology in industrial design will feature co-founder of 3Doodler (the world’s first 3D printing pen). It will be broadcasted live through Google Hangout.
More information on this exhibit can be found [here](http://a585620891.oinsite.yh.mynet.cn/design.htm).
[gallery ids="116295,116288,116306,116310,116301" nav="thumbs"]
Le Décor for Dad
Corrie Dyke • June 30, 2014
This Father’s Day, give Dad a gift he won’t throw in a closet and forget. These gifts give back, in and around the house. Toast Dad on his special day and get him something memorable – to be shared with family and friends alike.[gallery ids="116442,116432,116438,116416,116421,116428" nav="thumbs"]
Georgetown Garden Tour Has Banner Day
Robert Devaney • May 15, 2014
Despite a downpour and drizzle — something every garden needs — the Georgetown Garden Tour enjoyed a busy day with visitors checking out gardens, each with its own noteworthy and high qualities.
While the Pyne garden got top attention, across town there were nine gardens for lovers of horticulture and home with arrivals at most place continuing right up to 5 p.m.
[gallery ids="101731,142126,142118,142123,142112,142131,142133" nav="thumbs"]
Le Decor: The Importance of Being Green
Serafine George • April 11, 2014
Just as Kermit the frog explained, it’s not always easy being green. Still, with a growing planet and shrinking resources, it’s important to do your part. One way to reduce your carbon footprint is buying furniture made of ecofriendly materials. Furniture retailers are doing their part by offering certain products made from reclaimed or sustainable materials. Below are just a few eco-conscious options for your home. [gallery ids="101692,143965,143958,143961,143945,143950,143953" nav="thumbs"]
Le Decor: Le Decor: Modern Inspirations
Charlene Louis •
Art is one of the best way to inspire a space in your home. After reading through the February 26th Arts Preview issue of The Georgetowner, I was inspired by the current “Gravity’s Edge” exhibit at the Hirshorn (February7- June 15, 2014). The vibrate colors and abstract method of detecting the force of gravity, allows for one to experimental and free to mix traditional with modern works of art. There are many ways to introduce invigorating contrast into a space, and art is one of the best. Here are some examples where modern art breathes life into traditional rooms. [gallery ids="101669,144642,144646,144637,144651,144654,144659,144666,144662" nav="thumbs"]
The Power of Color
Georgetowner • March 13, 2014
Color surrounds and enlivens our lives. The appropriate use of paint color in the interior of our homes can give the illusion of elongating walls, reducing corners, raising ceilings and expanding the overall room size. The colors we select not only affect our sense of the space but can profoundly affect our emotional state. When working with color, note that paint is one of the least expensive ways to artistically set the stage of our interior spaces.
The natural light coming into a home through windows and glass doors make subtle changes in the colors in each room. In Georgetown, a pink-red hue is reflected into the rooms from the brick side walks and buildings. In suburban Maryland and Virginia, green is reflected into the homes from the larger green expanses of trees and shrubs.
Here are some questions that we receive most often from clients:
Q. I am moving to a large house in this area. I am worried that the rooms will look empty. Is there any remedy by using color on the walls and ceilings?
A. Absolutely. Color can effectively change our perception of the size of a space. One example is to use accent colors that are well lit to draw the eye away from empty space to the complementary color, making a large room cozier.
After looking at the furnishings and art already in their home, we ask about the clients’ color preferences. Warm grays or beige, and creams are the most popular neutrals for providing good backgrounds. An entire house using only these background colors, however, can be boring. If the main floor is large, we recommend that one of the rooms, such as the dining room, features a contrasting color that is complementary. For example, if the other rooms are beige, we might recommend a red or terra-cotta for the dining room. Green is also a good counterpoint color. From hunter to celadon and khaki, green is the best color to show off wood surfaces such as trim, molding, and wood furnishings. We might use accents of red and green (complementary colors) on upholstery and pillows in each of the other rooms to unify the entire space.
Q. How do I know what intensity of color to use in a room? How bold can I go?
A. How intense the color can be depends a great deal on the light in the room. Choose three close but different saturations of the color you want. Paint these colors on pieces of cardboard. Place the colors close to the natural light by a window and also in a far corner that receives the least light. Then try your three different intensities of color on large patches on the wall opposite the windows. When the paint is dry observe the colors at different times of day and evening. This will save you time and money before you paint the entire room. Various finishes can be applied to enliven or soften bolder colors. Glazes can soften the color as well as give it liveliness and transparency. Sponging, ragging, and washes give texture to the walls.
Q. I love the architectural details in my apartment. It has great ceiling moldings and mill-work on the doorways. I would like to feature these elements without bold, garish contrasts. What colors should I use?
A. Ceiling moldings frame a room nicely, which is wonderful. The moldings work best when they are lighter than the wall color, although the contrast need not be great. Similarly you can show off the mill-work with a contrasting color. Follow these rules and choose a wall color that pleases you.
Q. What about white? Should all ceilings be white?
A. Ceilings do not necessarily have to be white. When choosing a ceiling color, consider the color of your walls and the size of the room. If the ceiling height is low, a soft white or cream can be the best choice. A bedroom with cream walls and blue furnishings can look lovely with a pastel sky blue ceiling. If you have a high ceiling, a faux finish such as tortoise shell or a textured color can add glamor and drama to a room for entertaining.
As for whites in general, be cautious. White is less neutral than you think. It contains all the colors of the spectrum. Art galleries paint their walls white to make a strong statement that says, “Come look.” In a residence, white is not as neutral as beige or gray. There are blue-whites, yellow-whites, pink-whites, and green-whites. A brilliant white can create eye-strain and give off glare. Whites show up paintings and picture frames, and the eye is more aware of the rectangles and squares breaking up the wall. Warmer neutrals such as beige and gray say, “Come look, relax, and stay.”
If you love white on the walls, go toward the creams. Rooms using the natural palettes of cream, beige, warm gray, and taupe can be both sophisticated and calming. Plants and flowers will soften the neutral palette. Pulling in different textures for the rugs, upholstery, and accessories can make the room more interesting. Small accents of black and navy, can add to the elegance of rooms mostly defined by the neutral palate.
Dena Verrill and Alla Rogers are principals at Dena Verrill Interiors in Georgetown. Their practice serves the metro area and anywhere their clients take them. Both Verrill and Rogers are Georgetown residents. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com . Learn more at www.DenaVerrillInteriors.com.
Tim Riethmiller • February 27, 2014
Kitchen Chic. [gallery ids="101370,153195,153182,153191,153188" nav="thumbs"]
Le Décor Middle Kingdom Porcelain: Born in Georgetown
Nico Dodd • January 17, 2014
Alison Alten Jia was home for a snow day on Wednesday, March 6. While the precipitation outside was quickly turning into the “rainquester,” she and her three children were inside. Her husband, Bo Jia, was far away, hard at work at their kiln in Jing De Zhen, China. Alison Alten Jia and Bo Jia are the founders of Middle Kingdom, designers, manufacturers and importers of handmade Chinese porcelain. Since being officially founded in 1998, the company’s colorful pots, bowls and vases have become popular among decorators and house ware dealers across the country. With a vertically integrated company that spans two continents, Middle Kingdom fits just fine in Georgetown where it was founded.
Alison Alten Jia and Bo Jia met in China in 1987 and moved to a house on 35th Street in Georgetown at the end of 1993. After having three children and officially starting Middle Kingdom in 1998, the family moved to a larger home on P Street, east of Wisconsin Avenue. The row house was formerly divided into apartments. The Jias have worked hard to turn it into a peaceful home and a beautiful one, too. The house is filled with antiques has been featured on twice on the Georgetown House Tour.
Middle Kingdom’s products are made in Jing De Zhen, as Alison Alten Jia calls it, “a small town with about 500,000 people” in southeastern China that is known worldwide for its porcelain. The city “really is a Mecca for people involved with ceramics,” said Alison Alten Jia. Bo Jia makes a few trips a year to Middle Kingdom’s kiln there. Right now, he is there working to source Middle Kingdom’s blue and white porcelain.
Although Middle Kingdom porcelain is popular among interior decorators, the Jias are not trying to move fashion-forward with their designs. “We’re not out there chasing trends,” said Alten Jia, who hopes that with time, they have been “refining our own ideas.”
In addition to their own designs, Middle Kingdom has also collaborated with artists to create different pieces. Foekje Fluer van Duin, a Dutch artist, designed vases out after plastic containers she found on the street. The company also makes pottery for Cultivated Gardens and are beginning to sell original source pieces from China and printed silk.
Alison Alten Jia is a member of the Georgetown Garden Club and has worked with the Georgetown Garden Tour in the past. She likes to support conservation and greening efforts in the neighborhood.
“We grew up in Georgetown, and so did our business.”
Items are available through Bernhardt & Reed 202-841-1924.
Prices start at $35. [gallery ids="102588,119580,119586,119593,119600,119605,119613,119620,119631,119642,119636,119573,119565,119505,119497,119512,119518,119525,119532,119538,119545,119552,119559,119626" nav="thumbs"]
Charlene Louis •
If it’s not in a Pantone, the color does not exist….
Pantone, Inc., is a company best known for its color labeling and propriety. To every interior designer, it is the bible of color trends. Earlier this year, Patone released their 2012 fall and winter colors that are the hottest new thing from finish to accessories in color. In a recent poll of designer and recent reviewed orders, Patone has created a pallet for what is popular for both men and woman this year. [gallery ids="101089,137730,137696,137724,137719,137703,137714,137709" nav="thumbs"]
Fantastic Fall Thanksgiving Tablescapes
Hayley Markovich •
Thanksgiving is truly a time to appreciate everything and everyone that helped to make the quickly ending year of 2012 memorable. If you are hosting the holiday this year, there is still time to create a captivating table-scape. Bring the bold red, orange, and gold of fallen leaves indoors as the inspiration for your table. These colors, considered fall staples, will be a sure-fire way to make a beautiful table that your guests will be raving about until next year. [gallery ids="101054,136895,136889,136882,136906,136876,136911,136869,136916,136923,136900" nav="thumbs"]